You were warned…

Dave – the editor

Here we are again, going up to Tier 4 which is feels uncomfortably like another lockdown. It’s very rare that I’d link to anything from the government but in this case, it’s useful to be able to look at the full list of restrictions: Tier 4: Stay at Home. The lockdowns and various tiered restrictions that have been in place since March are taking their toll on people’s mental health – this latest edict from above is only going to exacerbate an already difficult situation.

A hospitality sector which is already on its knees is getting another clobbering as pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants are obliged to shut yet again. Also, all indoor entertainment and cultural venues are obliged to shut. The hospitality and entertainment sectors in Tier 4 areas are basically f**ked. If this goes through into January and beyond, many pubs and venues will not survive.

The situation is also causing problems for many non-league football clubs who face having to shut up shop well into January, with no clear guarantee when (or even if) the playing season will be able to resume and fans allowed back into the grounds: ‘Massive rethink’ required if non-league Covid-19 suspension spills over into next year. Many non-league clubs from the Northern, Southern and Isthmian leagues down get a significant portion of their revenue from takings at the clubhouse bars. A stop start season and interruptions to revenues as a result of no gate money and no bar takings could potentially pose a threat to the long term future of some football clubs.

Can you see what’s happening? Anywhere people can meet up to be sociable and entertained is under threat. As things currently stand it feels like there will be no end to this. ‘Three weeks to flatten the curve’ is a distant memory now. If we’re ever allowed out of this, there will be far fewer places to meet up in as many pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants face going to the wall. This will include many music venues. We face a more atomised, lonely and fearful future. One where an increasing amount of our interactions will be digital rather than face to face. One where any ‘entertainment’ we get will be via a screen rather than experienced live in a venue. A depressing future where many of us will be merely existing rather than truly living.

With the roll out of rushed through vaccines which a fair few people rightly have concerns about taking, we’ve been offered a ‘way back to freedom’ if we consent to getting vaccinated. The talk is of digital ‘freedom passes’ to prove you have been vaccinated. These passes will allow you to enter the venues that will have managed to survive the seemingly endless lockdowns and tiered restrictions. At the moment, it’s talk with various options being touted to see what the reaction of the public will be to any element of coercion to accepting a vaccination and a ‘freedom’ pass. Bear in mind that the venues that do survive will tend to be part of the bigger corporate owned chains. There are no prizes for guessing that they’re more likely to be the ones who would insist on a ‘freedom pass’ being scanned before entrance is permitted.

As I’ve written before, I take absolutely no pleasure in many of the predictions I’ve been making since the spring moving unnervingly closer to a dystopian reality. The posts those predictions were made in are listed below. I’d much prefer to be sitting here red faced with embarrassment wiping the egg from my face than contemplating a constrained, controlled and closely monitored future that’s barely worth living in. Well, we are where we are. Welcome to your future of controlled misery. For those who have been uncritically supporting the measures that have brought us to this point, it’s now time for you to own the situation and the f**king consequences…

Estuary Stirrings

2020, a lot has happened – 2021, a lot more will happen – December 9 2020

It’s too late to go back, we have to move forwards – November 24 2020

Resisting the ‘reset’ – a call to arms – November 11 2020

The South Essex Heckler

Told you so… – September 4 2020

Are we sleepwalking towards a 21st century form of totalitarianism? – August 12 2020

Gaslighting – July 29 2020

The emerging political divide – May 29 2020

Welcome to your future of controlled misery – May 9 2020

Some thoughts on the COVID-19 future we’re facing – April 17 2020

The consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for freedom and solidarity – April 13 2020


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